Cuomo urges tax cap extension, issues report on savings

By Colleen Wilson

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo released a report Wednesday outlining the ways in which the state’s property tax cap would save taxpayers thousands of dollars if made permanent by the Legislature.

Lowering property taxes was one of the first campaigns the governor started after taking office in 2011, when he signed a law to stop property taxes levied by school districts and municipalities from rising on average more than 2 percent annually, or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. That law expires in 2016. A bill to make the cap permanent has been passed by the state Senate and is being examined by the Ways and Means Committee in the Assembly.

The report touts savings of on average $800 per person since the tax cap implementation three years ago. Westchester, Rockland and Nassau counties had the highest averages in individual savings from the last three years, each topping $1,900.

Predictions in the report said the typical state taxpayer would save more than $2,100 by 2017 if the tax cap remains.

The governor’s office calculated that property taxes across the state grew on average 5.3 percent annually from 2000 to 2010. The mid-Hudson Valley region had the highest annual growth rate during that period, with an average 6.2 percent increase.

The Business Journal reported recently that some local government officials in Westchester oppose the cap because they believe it sacrifices autonomy and strains their budgets, particularly funding for infrastructure repairs.

The 2015 legislative session ends on June 17. If the permanent tax cap bill does not pass before then, it would have to be reintroduced next year.

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About the author

Colleen Wilson
Colleen is a graduate of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. She covers energy, transportation and state government for the Westchester County Business Journal.

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